How to Dry Cockscomb Flowers
Bright-red dried cockscomb is an excellent addition to Christmas arrangements or wreaths.
If cockscomb does not have sufficient air circulation while drying, the flower heads may rot or become moldy.
Cockscomb, or celosia cristata, gets its nickname from the fact that the flower's shape resembles a rooster's comb. Plumed cockscomb, or plume celosia, boasts feathery spikes that adorn the top of its stems. Bright, vibrant colors make cockscomb a gardener's favorite, and some preserve the flowers to enjoy in dried arrangements or crafts. Whether it be celosia or plume cockscomb, the drying process is the same.
Cut the cockscomb, using garden shears, when the comb is in full bloom.
Cut the flower in the morning, when the dew has dried but before the heat of the day.
Cut the bottom of the stem as close to the ground as possible.
Remove all foliage from the stems.
Place up to six stems in one bunch and secure the ends together with string or a rubber band.
Hang the bunch upside down in a well-ventilated area that is cool and dark. An attic or dark shed is ideal.
Allow the cockscomb to hang and dry for at least two weeks. Once dry, the flowers will remain colorful for at least six months, according to the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension.
A certified nutritionist who majored in health, fitness and nutrition, Traci Vandermark has been writing articles in her specialty fields since 1998. Her articles have appeared both online and in print for publications such as Simple Abundance, "Catskill Country Magazine," "Birds and Blooms," "Cappers" and "Country Discoveries."